Kissimmee, FL– June 4, 2015-The USSSA Florida Pride are pleased to announce the signing of number one overall draft pick and NCAA Career Homerun leader Lauren Chamberlain. The former Oklahoma Sooner and four-time NFCA All-American has signed a three year contract with the back-to-back National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) champions.
“Being drafted first was an honor. It was nice to see the hard work over the years pay off and have a team and general manager that had faith in me as the number one pick. Knowing I was drafted to the Pride brought more happiness because of the level of athletes I knew I was going to play with,” said Chamberlain.
Chamberlain broke the NCAA homerun record with a grand slam on April 30th against North Texas. Her 91st career homerun broke Stacy Nuvman’s 13 year old record. Chamberlain finished her career with 95 homeruns including three in their Super Regional loss to Alabama.
“Three years ago, I planned for this pick knowing Lauren Chamberlain would be a senior. She has one of the most powerful bats our sport has seen and has become one of the biggest faces of our sport. We’re excited to watch her compete at the professional level and carry that dominance into the NPF,” said Pride General Manager Don DeDonatis.
Chamberlain took no time adjusting to the NCAA scene as she hit 30 homeruns in both her freshman and sophomore seasons. One of Chamberlain’s most memorable homeruns came in the 2013 Women’s College World Series (WCWS) final when she hit a walkoff two run shot in the 12th inning of game one. Chamberlain and the Sooners, including current Pride players Keilani Ricketts and Shelby Pendley, went on to win the 2013 National Championship.
Chamberlain was a four-time NFCA All-American, a Top 3 Finalist for the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year and Top 10 Finalist in 2015. She was the 2012 Big 12 Freshman of the Year, a three-time member of the All Big 12 team, and a three time NFCA All Region selection. Chamberlain played alongside fellow rookies Amber Freeman and Pendley on the 2010-2011 US Junior Women’s National Team and was named the 2010 USA Softball Athlete of the Year for the team.
“I am looking forward to the competition in the NPF and the friendships, and also seeing my game go to another level. I get to play with and against some of the best softball players to ever play the game. I’m excited to see what the good competition around me can do to my level of play,” said Chamberlain.
As one of the most dominant hitters in NCAA history, Chamberlain finished her career with a .395 batting average, record 95 homeruns and 254 RBIs. Besides her career homerun record, Chamberlain’s .960 slugging percentage is the best in NCAA Division I history. She leaves Oklahoma as the career homerun, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, and runs leader.
Beyond the homeruns and records, Chamberlain has become a role model in the softball community and someone who is vocal about growing the sport and aspiring young players.
“My message to young girls is to work for what you want. Be confident in your abilities and trust your work ethic. It takes a lot of sacrifice and time to get here but the pay off is so worth it. Stay in love with the game of softball and keep it fun!”
Chamberlain will make her professional debut this weekend when the Pride open the 2015 NPF season with a trip to McKinney, Texas to take on the Dallas Charge. Games three and four of the series will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.
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About USSSA Florida Pride:
The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002.
USSSA is headquartered in Osceola County, Florida. USSSA is the World’s largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA News!